HC Deb 13 June 2003 vol 406 c357W
Tim Loughton

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many patients waiting for heart operations for more than six months have been offered operations at alternative hospitals; and at which alternative hospitals. [114730]

Ms Blears

At the last date for which provisional figures were available, of a total of 6,387 patients waiting more than six months for heart surgery, 4,675 were deemed clinically eligible for the option of treatment elsewhere. Of these, 4,532 made a choice, and of this number 2,082 opted for treatment at an alternative centre. No information is held centrally regarding numbers treated at individual alternative hospitals. Patients opting to travel for treatment are able to choose between any appropriate national health service facility with the spare capacity to treat them, or a range of private facilities in the United Kingdom and two facilities in Belgium.